Signal lost: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejects petition to allow drivers to use phone’s GPS on the road

Illustration. Photo: Pixabay
Illustration. Photo: Pixabay

Indonesian drivers must continue to rely on their memory and intuition (or dedicated GPS devices) to get around after the country’s courts upheld a law making the use of GPS apps on smartphones while driving illegal.

Previously, a group of Toyota enthusiasts and ride-sharing drivers filed a petition to the Constitutional Court to review safe driving practices as regulated by Law no. 22/2009 on traffic and land transportation (LLAJ) that totally prohibited the use of smartphones while driving.

The petitioners argued that the use of GPS apps on smartphones while driving should be given an exception while other uses, such as making calls and sending messages, should remain prohibited.

Sadly for them, the court’s decision was Waze off from their desired outcome.

“We reject the appeal in its entirety,” Constitutional Court Chief Anwar Usman said in court yesterday, as quoted by Jawa Pos.

“One way to ensure concentration while driving is not to use a phone.”

The court noted that the prohibition only applies to GPS apps on smartphones, while dedicated GPS devices in vehicles are still permissible for use.

In accordance with LLAJ, using a phone while driving is an offense punishable by up to three months in prison or a IDR750K (US$53) fine.

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